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September 16, 2008

California Legislature Drops Some Health Cuts From Budget

Early this morning, the California Legislature approved a budget proposal for fiscal year 2008-2009 that avoided some cuts to health care and other programs, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Democrats widely opposed the proposed cuts (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 9/16).

The proposal does not eliminate dental services for adult Medi-Cal beneficiaries or impose new restrictions on Medi-Cal services for undocumented immigrants. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Halper/Rau, Los Angeles Times, 9/16).

Beyond those already introduced by Senate Democrats, the budget agreement does not include cuts to California health care, human services or education programs, according to information Ventura County officials received from the California State Association of Counties (Biasotti, Ventura County Star, 9/16).
Healthy Families, Medi-Cal

The budget retains a provision to increase monthly premiums for Healthy Families, California's version of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (Los Angeles Times, 9/16).

The proposal would restore most of the 10% cut in Medi-Cal payments to health care providers beginning in March 2009 (Lin, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/16). California's Medicaid reimbursement rates will remain the lowest in the U.S. even after the cuts are restored, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Posted by healthinsurance at September 16, 2008 07:37 PM